Cole: Sturridge can shine

Sturridge enjoyed a highly-productive loan spell at Bolton during

the second half of the 2010/11 campaign, firing eight goals in 12

appearances. Cole is unsurprised by the 21-year-old’s progress and

has backed him to emulate that success at Stamford Bridge – if he

is given the chance. “I saw Daniel Sturridge recently and look at

what he has done at Bolton,” the England left-back said on

Chelsea’s official website. “I knew what he could do. I’ve seen him

in training and he’s honestly one of the hardest players I’ve ever

had to mark. His movement is unreal. “Hopefully when he comes back

next season he’ll see more opportunities and bang goals in for us

like he has done for Bolton.” Sturridge’s opportunities will be

limited by the presence of the far more established Didier Drogba,

Fernando Torres and Nicolas Anelka. However, reports continue to

place doubt over Drogba’s Chelsea future while Sturridge’s from at

Bolton cannot be ignored by whoever is chosen to replace manager

Carlo Ancelotti. Ancelotti was sacked after the Blues finished

second in the Barclays Premier League and fell at the quarter-final

stage of the Champions League. Cole, however, believes the club

should not be too discouraged by what they achieved last term. “At

the start of the season we played some good football, some sexy

football to be fair,” he said. “Blackpool at home in that first

half was special, but it’s been a tough season. “When we had that

crazy, not even a blip, an unheard of period for any team, everyone

wrote us off and rightly so. “But give us credit for coming back

and it’s an achievement to come second in the Premier League. “That

said, though, we feel as though we should be winning and we want to

win, but second is not bad in this league.” Cole, Chelsea’s

players’ player of the year, expects to continue for at least three

more years as he manages a troublesome left ankle injury. “I don’t

feel 30. We train with a lot of young players and they make you

feel young. I feel good,” he said. “I feel healthy and fit, so I

hope to keep going for a few more years, though it’s hard to say

how long. “I do have a bad ankle and it’s not something which just

goes away so I have to manage it and take it season by season. “But

if I look now and say how I feel, I know I’ve definitely got three

years.”